The thyroid is a tiny gland that is located at the base of the neck. Its size belies its importance as it is tasked with ensuring that the body’s metabolic processes go on seamlessly. When its function is out of whack, it causes havoc on the body’s metabolism.
There are two instances where this is possible: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Just as the names suggest, these two conditions develop when the thyroid gland is either under producing or overproducing thyroid hormones respectively. It is important to note that each of the two conditions has an adverse effect on one’s body with varied symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism for instance, is a condition where the body overproduces the thyroid hormones. These increases the rate of metabolism so that affected people will often experience inexplicable weight loss, increased heart rate, anxiety and insomnia.
Hypothyroidism on the other hand, tends to have the opposite effect. It leads to extreme fatigue, depression and rapid weight gain. These symptoms are attributed to slow metabolism that makes it easier for the body to store up the pounds than expend the energy.
In addition to this, someone with an underactive thyroid is likely to have higher cholesterol levels. To counter this, it is important to know ways in which you can reset the thyroid to activate metabolism and burn more fat. The first priority ought to be getting medical attention for an accurate diagnosis.
The medication prescribed helps the body regain its optimal function and reverse the resulting symptoms. The different methods listed below are recommended for use following a medical diagnosis and should only be used as an adjunct form of treatment for the management of an underactive thyroid.
One of the ways to increase fat burning when the thyroid gland is not functioning well is to manage your diet. For thyroid-induced weight gain, it helps to add foods that are rich in iodine to your diet. Dairy products and eggs are excellent sources of iodine, so find ways to include these in your daily food.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants are also beneficial and they include squash, berries, grapes and carrots. In line with this, go slow on foods that interfere with the production of thyroid hormones.
Examples of foods in this category include cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. These two actions go a long way in aiding the body recover its metabolic function while burning fat. OF course, in addition to these measures, it generally helps to expend more calories than you eat to promote weight loss.
Exercise is closely tied to diet when it comes to thyroid-induced weight gain. The simple reason for this is that exercise helps the body burn fat. This however, may not be as simple as it seems. An underactive thyroid slows down metabolism which, in addition to weight gain, causes extreme fatigue that makes it very hard to exercise.
Regardless of this challenge, it is important to make exercise a priority if you are to reset the thyroid gland and improve the process of metabolism for burning fat. As a general guide, it is recommended to get at least half an hour of exercise for five days each week.
These exercise routines could range from brisk walking to swimming, jogging aerobics and dance. The golden rule is to start small and then build a momentum.There are additional benefits for exercising to reset the thyroid gland. An underactive thyroid has been associated with depression. Since persistent stress enhances hypothyroidism, one of the ways to counter this is to engage in exercises.
Exercise is not only a stress-buster, it is also a way to increase endorphins produced by the body. Endorphins, commonly referred to as feel-good hormones, are great at lowering the risk of depression, stress and burn-out.
NOTE: Contrary to popular belief, excessive cardio workouts do not necessarily help burn fat, and here’s why: Too much cardio places a great strain on the body, and this exposes you to stress.
Stress is associated with a high concentration of cortisol and a subsequent dipping of thyroid hormones. As mentioned above, take just about half an hour of cardio workouts with the option of including strength training.
3. Increase the Amount of Omega-3 Fats you Take:
Inflammation is a natural body response, but in people with compromised thyroid function, this response is pretty heightened. Left unchecked, it interferes with the body’s ability to burn fat and lose weight.
This is the simple reason why you should increase the amount of omega-3 fats you take. These fats are great at reducing inflammation and helping the body function optimally. Some great sources of omega-3 include walnut, flaxseed, canola and fish oil supplements.
The most important thing to remember is that if you have any reason to think that your thyroid is not performing optimally, whether due to sudden weight fluctuations or extreme fatigue, then a medical check-up is in order.
For this, your doctor will carry out a simple blood test to ascertain the levels of thyroid hormone. It is okay to seek a second opinion if you are unsatisfied with the process or would like further clarification.